TED Conversations

President & CEO, Public Radio International (PRI)


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What do you want from the news?

What do you want from the news each day? Do you get it? How does the news impact you each day? How does it make you feel?

Is the news positively impacting your life? Why or why not?

Answers that explain in personal narrative how the news impacts you are greatly welcomed!


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  • Apr 11 2011: I think it would be interesting to see news in the news. Just that. A collection of facts about things that have happened around the world and locally in that specific time frame. I think I could actually use that information. I have a hard time differentiating between Jerry Springer and CNN these days. With a set of facts provided, I could evaluate that information and determine it`s relevance and importance to me as opposed to being told how relevant and important it is. That would make it interesting. That would make me feel as though I was being proactive in researching and evaluating the world I live in. Current news feeds either dont allow for evaluation by depriving you of nescesary data, or make evaluation a daunting task. What should I beleive? Is this the whole story or just one side? What`s the other side? I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that history is made by those who write it, but getting back to basic facts and statistics would greatly improve the content of "news" shows. The earthquake in Japan became disaster porn almost as soon as it happened. The facts had been put out immediately, and then the porn started. Lets show the film footage of a man running for his life from an incomming tsunami (which he fails to do and drowns) 18 times an hour. That is completely unnecessary unless you get your rocks off watching people die. Important facts about an earthquake: where, when, how big, projected/current after effects, casualties, how can I help. Thats all I want to know about. The touching stories about famlies reunited, or recounts of what happened from an emotional standpoint could (and in my opinion SHOULD) be advertised in a venue other than the news. Day 1, earthquake on the news. Day 45, in depth documentary on HBO. Seperate. I dont condone censorship and I`m not saying that current news shows should be restricted, I`m just stating what I want from it.
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      Apr 11 2011: Totally dig the idea!
    • Apr 11 2011: so, you're suggesting news should be totally clinical; practically functioning as a fact database? There's definitely a place for that. I feel one of the main reasons that would be unviable for your standard evening news is that the stories wouldn't be long enough! Either the news would be a lot shorter (less ad revenue) or they'd have to cover more stories (higher outgoings on researchers).

      Another cul de sac due to news being a commercial venture.

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